“There are boat parties and then there are SuperYacht parties” screamed the marketing campaign over the winter. A highly organized web campaign to showcase a new superyacht coming to San Antonio purely for boat parties but the dream has now turned into a nightmare for the island organizers and also the hundreds who have booked their tickets and ‘VIP table’ as Exodus has been cancelled indefinitely citing ‘island politics’.
It’s always a little precarious launching a new product on the white isle but anything to do with the water is especially fraught with difficulty especially with docking restrictions and strict health and safety requirements. I spoke with the local organizers of Exodus in mid-May asking whether they had all the required permissions, licenses and health and safety in place and I was assured that they had. Having had many different Ibiza businesses over the years I know first hand that if you don’t have the right paperwork and permissions then it’s a complete non-starter with competitors more than ready to protect their patch and rightly so.
The official version is that they couldn’t secure a big enough mooring however I would have thought that this would have been organized BEFORE the big marketing campaign and promises to clients and promotors.
As the Exodus organizers and promoters lick their wounds there are internet tales of clients chasing refunds and having to pay booking fees but I sincerely hope they get all their money back for something that was beyond their control plus it’s not great advertising for our town and Ibiza parties in general.
I saw the Exodus boat moored off the sunset strip on Sunday and it cut a sad figure before making its way to Valencia the following day. Maybe it will return in the future, maybe the owners & organizers were just unlucky or maybe it will go down as a guide on “how not to do things”.
2 young British men have died over the last 7 days in San Antonio at the same hotel in two separate, tragic incidents. Fraser Gillespie, 26, died after falling from from his 5th floor balcony whilst partying with up to 20 friends, his death is not being treated as suspicious. Then only a few days later Andrew Watson, 32, was found by a friend in his room, he was unresponsive and doctors were unable to revive him, drugs are the suspected cause.
It appears that these 2 young men have died during a relentless pursuit of pleasure.
Groups of young people arrive at their UK airport ready to party. They party in the departure lounge, they party on the plane and then they come through passport control screaming and shouting. The relevant authorities have already had 3 opportunities to firmly enforce standards but most have turned a blind eye, in fact the airport bar and the low cost airline have profited from this behaviour. Is it any wonder that these young people think they are in dreamland so who can blame them when they arrive at their holiday hotel or villa and want to carry on the party but as we have seen over the last week there can be serious consequences when you have a “but this is Ibiza, I can do anything” attitude.
Ibiza and its people have always been famous for their liberal nature and easygoing attitude but is this now the root of our problems? Imagine arriving at Dubai or Miami airport half cut, screaming and shouting, they wouldn’t tolerate it and those places are all the better for it, Ibiza has always turned a blind eye but how can we carry on doing that when our streets are being filled with over-zealous partygoers who have a complete personality transplant once they step foot on the island.
Isn’t it about time we said NO? Not all the time but just now and again? No you can’t act like hooligans on the plane. No you can’t scream & shout at all hours in your hotel. No you can’t do exactly what you want in Ibiza with no consideration for anyone else. Getting the tone right is the key as we don’t want to become prissy head teachers tutting at everyone but there has to be a line otherwise everything becomes blurred. It’s imperative that Ibiza retains its magic but it’s also important that we send out a clear message otherwise more parents will be mourning their children over the coming months.
There is no easy solution but as we enter a new political age it’s time for the authorities to tackle the problem head on in a open and honest way as to continue to ‘turn a blind eye’ would surely be very dangerous. Ibiza’s free spirit needs to be celebrated not abused otherwise we will devalue the one thing that defines us as an island.
Recent election manifestos promised change and a better touristic model for Ibiza and San Antonio so now it’s up to our new elected leaders to deliver on those promises.
Believe it or not this is a question that has troubled me for some time. We have a name that is known the world over yet the locals don’t seem to want to use it. I’ve always detested the use of ‘Sant Antoni’ however I have started to change my mind. Why? The simple reason is when you type San Antonio into the search engines it comes up with San Antonio Texas and never San Antonio Ibiza but when you type in Sant Antoni…..voila! In this day and age its all about standing out from the norm and being a unique product and the Catalan version of the name gives us that. To most it will always be San Antonio or even San An but for the cyber world it might just be better to be Sant Antoni.
Don’t be put off by the casual dress & tattoed neck of the guy on the left. His name is Pablo Valdes and he’s thrown a major spanner in the works of old school local politics. His 1496 votes in the recent elections means that his REINICIA party have 4 seats on the council and has enabled a Tri-party coalition which will see San Antonio free from the PP party for the 1st time in 35 years. Pep Tur ‘Cires’ (PSOE – 6 seats) will become Mayor with Valdes assuming Deputy Mayor status. Juanjo Ferrer (PI – 3 seats) will become the 2nd Deputy Mayor in a major shake up & kick up the bum for local San An politics. Only time will tell if this coalition will be successful however I feel we need to get behind our new local government and support them but also keep them accountable with relation to their election promises.